ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Materials

Flexible Electrochromics Change Their Hue

Redox-active ion gel might one day enable low-cost, color-changing display devices made of plastic

by Mitch Jacoby
February 16, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 7

With the flick of a switch, “smart” windows and rearview mirrors lighten or darken as an applied voltage activates an electrochromic substance embedded in the glass. These devices reduce glare and can moderate the intensity of light and heat inside an automobile or building. But electrochromic devices tend to be expensive and rigid. A study reported in Chemistry of Materials suggests that a novel electrochromic gel may bypass those limitations, leading to new types of low-cost, flexible color-changing devices and electronic displays (2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b00026). The University of Minnesota’s Hong Chul Moon, Timothy P. Lodge, and C. Daniel Frisbie first treated an ion gel composed of a polystyrene-based block copolymer and an imidazolium compound with ferrocene and methyl viologen, which is redox active. The team then sandwiched the resulting electrochromic material between flexible transparent plastic conductors and showed that applying less than 1 V reversibly switched the device between colorless (oxidized) and colored (reduced) states. The researchers note that the device, which was made via simple solution processing, functioned stably in air for 24 hours.

09307-scicon-flex2cxd.jpg
Credit: Chem. Mater.
Applying less than 1 V reversibly activates (darkens) the otherwise colorless electrochromic gel embedded in this flexible, plastic test device.
X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment